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Canvas & tools


Social Business Models: Integration of 5 business model canvasAround 2010, there were already some canvas to help the creation process of traditional business models, but none took into account the social or societal dimension.

For this reason, in 2011, was realized a first attempt to create a social business model canvas, integrating approaches from the Logic Framework, issued from the development cooperation movements, and from the Business Model Canvas Generation by Alexander Ostervalder and Yves Pigneur.

After beeing used many times, this first canvas has undergone some changes since the beginning of 2013, mainly with the organizational values in its center, giving more consistency and coherence.

Gradually, other canvas were added and superimposed on that of social business model, creating a coherent whole, providing a systemic vision of the organization:

  • The shared values canvas
  • The business model canvas
  • The governance model canvas
  • The strategy model canvas
  • The corporate social responsability model canvas

The five canvas and their roles

Social Business Models: The 5 canvas as a tools backboneAs you can watch a precious stone from multiple angles, you can look at an organization in multiple facets.

The integration of these looks gives an overview of the organization and helps understanding the interactions between its various components. It also promotes awareness of the potential impacts when certain pieces of the puzzle are changing.

The Social Business Models canvas have two main purposes:

  • Being tools facilitating group reflection and collective intelligence
  • Serve as the backbone for a variety of tools facilitating the classification of one in their dimensions

The roles of the five canvas can be shortly described as follow:

  1. Social Business Models: The 5 SBM canvas and their blocksThe canvas of shared values, as the name suggests, is, somehow, the fuel of the organization, providing consistency in its actions, balancing its logic and directing his vision.
  2. The business model canvas represents the logic of the organization, its purpose, the needs it will respond ... in a word: its mission! 
    This is a relatively permanent facet, not moving relatively little over the years. We can represent it as the engine of the organization.
  3. The canvas governance may appear to have less importance, is somehow a simple list of stakeholders. This is however not the case and this framework comes into its own when it is integrated with communication issues, influences in decision making and in the reflections on the social responsibility of the organization.
  4. While the business model is a permanent facet of the organization, the strategy canvas reveals its whole dynamism. It does so encouraging the organization to make the diagnosis of the actual situation and choose the best path leading to its vision of the future, further declining it into pojects and actions.
  5. The last canvas being integrated at the top of the others is the corporate social responsibility one. It may seem somewhat superfluous or redundant in relation to the others. However, integrating the seven core subjects of ISO 26000 to the business model canvas, it strongly encourages proactive thinking.

The five canvas and their blocks

The shared values canvas
  • Social Business Models: Shared values canvasThe beliefs: True or false (the faith)
  • The shared values: right or wrong (morality)
  • By mixing with the story of the organization... (its DNA)
  • Influence individual behavior (codes of conduct, ethics)
  • Turned into rules and good practices (the coherence)
The business model canvas
  • Social Business Models: Business model canvasContext: In what context the organization is immersed?
  • Needs: What are the needs, problems and opportunities that the organization will solve?
  • Beneficiaries: Who are the users, clients and beneficiaries of the organization?
  • Channels: How will the services be communicated, provided and delivered?
  • Products and services: What are the products and services the organization will provide?
  • Resources: With which people and resources the organization can it produce its benefits?
  • Results and impact: How to verify that the organization meets the needs properly?
  • Support: What are the different stakeholders who can support the organization?
The governance model canvas
  • Social Business Models: Governance model canvasInternal governance : Also called "corporate governance"
    • Members
    • Committee
    • Direction
    • Staff
    • Volunteers
  • Border governance: May have a strong influence on decisions
    • Direct beneficiaries
    • Customers, clients
    • Suppliers
    • Funders
    • Partners
  • External governance: Moderate influence on decisions, but not negligible
    • Public sector
    • Politics
    • Concurrents
    • Society
    • Media, press, social networks
    • Opinion makers
    • Prescribers
The strategy model canvas
  • Social Business Models: Strategy model canvasThe vision is a projection of the organization and its context, in the distant future (10-20 years)
  • The vision of the future is built on assumptions and suppositions, they can be grouped and create various scenarios
  • Diagnostics and evaluation of past and present give us the starting point
  • It is based on the strengths, weaknesses, key success factors, opportunities, threats and risks, internal or context that one will choose its strategy...
  • Then converting the strategy objectives, action plans, projects, schedules, budgets, etc.
The corporate social responsability model canvas
  • Social Business Models: CSR model canvasDialogue with stakeholders
  • Community involvement and development
  • Fair operating practices
  • Consumer issues
  • The environment
  • Labor practices
  • Human rights